Nielsen Will Not Support Voltair, New Enhancements To PPM Coming –
NIELSEN held its eagerly-anticipated “PPM Enhancements and VOLTAIR Testing Update” webinar TUESDAY (7/21), and the clients-only presentation by EVP/Local Media Client Solutions MATT O’GRADY, SVP/Product Leadership JENNIFER HUSTON and Chief Engineer ARUN RAMASWAMY included the results of testing that showed VOLTAIR does not affect the accuracy of NIELSEN’s PPM numbers in quarter hour intervals, but does have a positive effect in extreme cases of audio interference when the audio itself is unintelligible. RAMASWAMY said that because of the latter and the uneven implementation of the technology, NIELSEN will not support VOLTAIR. But the company also announced coming enhancements to its own technology that could help enhance detection of the watermarks. The company was silent as to whether it would require VOLTAIR’s removal but repeated that the company cannot support the technology.
RAMASWAMY said that the analysis of VOLTAIR via “extensive lab testing” that included testing of loudness, the meters, whether a consumer would hear the watermark under Voltair, and other elements, both via internal and third party tests and in “limited” real world tests, found that VOLTAIR produces audible artifacts and interferes with the metering by extending and amplifying the tones. In some situations, he said, the PPM picked up more codes with VOLTAIR, but “whether this is true listening is inconclusive at this point.” The effect, he added, was more pronounced at the minute level than the quarter-hour level. HUSTON added that there is “no way” to tell if VOLTAIR actually has had an impact in the ratings, because stations have not disclosed whether they are using the boxes.
NIELSEN will also be rolling out changes….
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